About Exit Funeral Services

Exit Funeral Services offer affordable and individualised Funeral and Cremation services.

Exit Funeral Services has been an established business for five years. Gary and Diane purchased the business in 2018, because they saw the value in offering people an alternative to costly, and often very set-in-their-way funerals that can end up feeling impersonal. Exit Funeral Services offers a unique service that is affordable through eco-friendly caskets and a crematorium service. Exit Funeral Services also carry out all paperwork for the client, allowing them to concentrate on what really matters during what can be a tumultuous time.

At Exit Funeral Services we believe each and every person is unique and so deserves a unique send-off that will not financially cripple the family.

Exit Funeral Services offer a modern take on funeral services. We have five main services that we provide; we offer a direct cremation service or a intimate service where close family can say their goodbyes and write messages on the casket, and we also offer a service where you can call the shots and create a personalised in which you can celebrate the life of someone lost your way, with family and friends.

Gary Shaw - Funeral Director

Gary Shaw from Exit Caskets & Cremations

Gary has a background in joinery, as the previous owner of Kitchens for Less for over 20 years. Gary firmly believes that funerals should be an affordable process for all those involved, particularly the remaining family. He is proud to say Exit Funeral Services offer a service that allows people to be as unique and individual as they want when celebrating the life of someone lost, without it breaking the bank.

Gary realises that it can often be a tumultuous and stressful time for families and so finds it rewarding to be able to help people through that difficult time by completing a lot of the necessary paperwork on their behalf. Helping people through Exit Funeral Services has been a rewarding and enriching experience.  Not only through creating handmade caskets for people who have passed, but through helping people to celebrate a life in their own special and unique ways.

Diane Shaw - Mortician

Previously I've been working at Dunedin Hospital for over 30 years in many different roles.  My final role with the DHB started over 20 years ago and was as the Charge Mortician in the hospital mortuary.  I loved this position as it was such an honour to be part of helping families get answers about their loved one's death through the postmortem examination. I was involved in forensic, paediatric and routine post mortems working with an awesome team of professionals. I gained my QTA certificates in 2001 and received an extra award for gaining the highest mark in New Zealand.

I found working with the deceased very peaceful and a huge privilege. Now working on the funeral side of the industry,I still feel the same. It is nice to be able to make the funeral side of things a little less daunting for our families. We are not the "suit and tie" type of funeral home, that option is already out there. We are a bit more relaxed but still care immensely about how we help the families that choose to come to us.  Here at Exit Funerals we treat all our deceased people as we would our own family members.  We are guided by what the family want to do for their loved one, and we aim to make this part of the process as easy as possible, but still with dignity, care and compassion.

Rachael Morriss - Funeral Director / Mortician

Rachael Morriss - Funeral Director / Mortician

My name is Rachael and I live in Waldronville with my husband and youngest 3 children.
When I was 16 most girls wanted to be a hair dresser, a make up artist or a nurse, I wanted to be a funeral director. I did my  research on how to become a funeral director and was led to a wellington phone number regarding gaining the qualification. I was promptly told by the facilitator, to not bother going down that path, that it would be a waste of time as Funeral Directing was seen as a mans job back then. Being the naive young woman I was, I accepted that and went back to the drawing board to find a 2nd choice path which turned out to be in the Healthcare industry. Over the following 20 years from then, through various healthcare roles at resthomes, private homes, hospitals and dental surgeries, I still had the pull towards being a funeral director, but it was never the 'right time' to be able to commit 100% to what is sometimes a  24/7 job. However, over the past 4 years I have been actively trying to get into the funeral industry as my home life finally allowed for my to give 100% commitment.

Almost 2 years ago I met Gary and Diane, we gelled from there and I was offered a Funeral Directors job here at Exit Funeral Services and its been a great 18 months.
Gary, Diane and myself always try to foster a relaxed workplace based on genuine compassion for the families we are supporting, as well as each other as a team should. This, mixed with light humour keeps a 'real' feeling about the business and I believe that that is one of our key point of differences in this industry.


Helen Ward - Funeral Assistant

Helen Ward - Funeral Assistant

I would like to introduce myself, my name is Helen, I have two adult sons and my husband and I live in Dunedin. As one of six children I am very privileged and proud to say I had a loving childhood. I praise my parents for guidance and support throughout my life, which has taught me empathy, trust and respect. As a student I had two aspirations. One to train in nursing, or two to join the police force. However as life would have it I joined the pharmaceutical industry, trained as a Pharmacy Technician and five years ago gained further qualification as a Pharmacy Accredited Checking Technician. I have very much enjoyed these previous roles and am immensely proud of the relationships I have made with clients, families, and of course the wonderful people I have worked alongside during this journey so far. More recently I came to the conclusion I am ready for a change, so after 38 years in pharmacy my new challenge and focus is in this direction, one of which I have been drawn to for some time.  I am a person who thrives on contact with people, so look forward to creating new relationships, meeting families requiring heartfelt support and honest advice in their time of need. I have witnessed personally after my mother passed away how compassionate and professional Diane and Gary at Exit Funerals were to us. Offering a warm and can do approach is absolutely paramount.  I feel absolutely privileged to have been welcomed into the Exit Funerals family and look forward to being a part of this very important opportunity of which I feel extremely thankful.  


Barry Johnson - Casual Funeral Assistant

Barry Johnson - Casual Funeral Assistant

I am married to Jan and we have 2 adult children and 3 Grand Children. I have recently retired after being in business for more than 40 years, predominately in the building Industry. The last eleven years as the Managing Director of Fisher Windows Otago here in Dunedin. I have exceptional interpersonal and people skills and pride myself in my ability to communicate and work well with people from all walks of life. I have a strong belief in Whanau/family along with high ethical and moral values. I enjoy meeting people and am involved with The Island Park Golf Club at a committee level. I have lived in Otago all my life and am looking forward being part of the Exit Funeral Services team helping people in their time of need. My casual postion allows me the best of both worlds with being retired but also allowing me to keep in contact with people.


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